THE BUREAU of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) declared parts of Western Samar and Leyte free from red tide contamination based on the latest test results.   

BFAR said in its 18th shellfish bulletin that red tide warnings are lifted in Zumarraga, San Pedro Bay, Maqueda Bay, and Villareal Bay in Western Samar, and Carigara Bay and Ormoc Bay in Leyte.   

On the other hand, areas still positive for red tide include Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol; Tambobo Bay in Negros Oriental; and Daram Island, Cambatutay Bay, and Irong-irong Bay in Western Samar.

Other areas affected by red tide are Calubian and Cancabato Bay in Leyte; Murcielagos Bay in Zamboanga del Norte; Balite Bay in Davao Oriental; and Lianga Bay and Bislig Bay in Surigao del Sur.   

All types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang sourced in areas with red tide warnings are unsafe for human consumption. Other marine species harvested in the contaminated waters can still be eaten with proper handling.

Red tide happens due to high concentrations of algae in the water. Human consumption of contaminated shellfish may result in paralytic shellfish poisoning, which affects the nervous system.

Usual indications of paralytic shellfish poisoning are headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Severe cases may also cause muscular paralysis and respiratory problems. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave